"Family Jump" by Evil Erin is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Looking to enjoy an activity with family of all ages?
In the digital age it can be hard to find things to do as a family. It is easy to sit around a room, quietly content to bask in the blue light of electronic devices, each picking a form of mild self amusement rather than tackle the difficult topic of finding a shared activity. Some of our loved ones just can’t move like they used to, some of them can’t handle the crowds, others have the attention span of a goldfish, and others yet are convinced nothing good was made after 1980. It is understandable, in a way we are all drifting apart. When all of your tastes are at your fingertips it’s hard not to indulge solo, so it’s important on occasion to find an activity that the whole family can do together.
The room escape game is the perfect solution to all of that. Within the confines of your own room, the post-post-modern family comes together to confront a real challenge. No one can ignore the ticking seconds on the clock, the universally acknowledged importance of the objectives, or the challenge of each step and puzzle. Room escape games have no insider information, no prerequisite knowledge, no age more appropriate than other; There is nothing to “get”, there is no one else but your group, there is nothing more interesting at the moment, and maybe best of all there is nothing but a mental challenge, so everyone can participate. Also, no drinking required.
Believe it or not, but we all enjoy being challenged in some way. For some of us it sudoku, or running a faster mile, or beating a game level on difficulty, or setting aside the time to find the perfect outfit. Each and everyone of us knows the satisfaction of a challenge that is overcome. That is what the room escape game is all about, challenges upon challenges taking different forms between the team and their objective. And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Most room escape games take the form of a blockbuster type story with wide appeal. It’s about an elaborate heist, or saving your lives, or often saving the entire world! We all live there don’t we? (Except those of you reading this from orbit. Hello. You should really try a room escape game when you land.) The point is the simplicity and the complexity become the same thing: escape. Whatever is required, you will work together to solve it.
What maybe comes as a surprise to some people who are interested in trying a room escape, or playing one with family instead of friends or co-workers, is the value that each player brings to the game because of their age or personality. Generally people with more life experience in the 35+ crowd are observed breaking down and organizing problems. Young adults tend to bring a lot of focus to tackling it all like a game, and even younger, kids 13 and under, actually help groups with their energy (and ability to crawl around and look under things easily) and tend to notice many clues quickly. Sometimes it actually helps to have a short attention span. Maybe the most interesting thing is the way other family members see each other positively while going for this shared objective. Younger people see their guardians playing and solving games (which they may not expect) and older people see how useful the skill set of children can be in such a universal challenge. It shows everyone in a new light.
A local Chicago favorite, Fox in a Box - Chicago, has over two years experience running their games and a standard of excellence in the city’s growing escape game scene as well as the high marks on review sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google. Fox in a Box has an atmosphere of hospitality and professionalism. To get an idea of what to expect from a person with some serious experience, we interviewed Vincent Rubino, the owner of a room escape game in Chicago, to get his take on how the game experience affects the players.
“When you book a game with us you will come up with aliases, work with our gamemasters, and take home some personalized mementos all while your phones are safely charging. Our games are challenging and designed to be so. Obviously not every group makes it out in time, but we dont keep track of times or success rates. The only true objective is to enjoy the experience and it is our mission to make that happen.”
Q: What’s the magic of the room escape game?
A: The benefit of having a party at fiab is you get your group out of their world. If you have a get together at your own place, it’s still within their world and it only goes so far. But then when you bring them into FiaB the escape room world environment, people are put into this very different scenario and different way of life and it causes different patterns to take place, and the patterns that were there to break down. So, what you can find is when you have significant others and plus ones attached, they’re suddenly mixing with people in different ways. And even if it’s only the family, once they’re in this room together, they’re hit with a very unusual environment, and that will cause sort of emergent behaviors to occur and that becomes all the more interesting. Most importantly, when you finish, and hopefully succeed in the room, the incredible feeling of accomplishment and euphoria that comes over the group that has now brought them all together, so they’re quite thrilled for what they’ve completed, they’ve all worked together, they’ve gelled as a team even if they’ve never worked together before, and to do that as a family, is completely different from any other activity out there; compared to doing bowling or having a meal somewhere.
Q: What happens to people in an escape room?
A: People sort of have their modes: they’re all in their box, they do their thing, everything kind of works and all of the patterns are really set. When you bring people to a get together, suddenly people have the opportunity to see each other differently and shake it up. It’s also just a chance to celebrate and let loose, particularly if they’ve had a good year, and even if they’ve had a bad year it’s a chance to be like “Ugh, okay. Let’s shake this one off. We’re having a party anyway.”
Q:What’s your favorite group story?
A: All groups are so different and sort of delight be in different ways… Ok, if you’re going to force me, this is one of my favorite group stories. We had a group of older ladies, in their 60’s and 70’s, and I was explaining that they don’t need to bring their purses in -- they can store them in the lockers. So, the oldest gal in the group proceeds to open up her purse and take out a measuring tape, screwdriver and flashlight. I asked why she was taking them out, and she explained that if she was going to be locked in a room, she needed some tools to break out. Clearly she believed in the scout motto, be prepared!
“Our games and gamemasters are the perfect risk-free opportunity to challenge your family to come together and solve a terrific problem.” Rooms at Fox in a Box are reserved for one party of up to six guests, but for larger groups more than one game can be booked at the same time slot. All players for all games at that time will be oriented to the rules at the same time so you will meet up in the lobby afterward. If not sure about which rooms should have which players you can make up your minds when you visit, or be sorted randomly. But at Fox in a Box you will never be added into groups with strangers like many other escape rooms.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 312 878 7899 for more information on how to book your next team building adventure with Fox in a Box - Chicago. Visit our website for more information about our pricing and our rooms.